This paper analyzes the impacts of climate change on the roles and missions of
the armed forces in Latin America and the Caribbean, and examines the range of
missions generated or affected by direct or indirect effects of climate change. First,
it starts with credible evidence from the United Nations’ intergovernmental panel
on climate change, which states that temperatures are likely to rise by two to four
degrees Celsius, thus increasing the number of extreme weather events, and leading to a number of adverse impacts on the region’s economies and socio-economic
environments; and encourages the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean to ask for the help of their armed forces. Second, this article includes responses to direct effects of weather events, such as tropical storms, floods, droughts,
and epidemics and pandemics and, additionally, responses to indirect effects of
climate change, such as increases in the magnitude and frequency of forced migration, crime and social protest, and a possible increase in wars between states.
This paper also examines the possible roles of the armed forces in helping their
communities reduce carbon emissions and mitigating the effects of the environment created by global warming.
The analysis concludes that the armed forces will face a large number of missions,
and a change in the mix of missions, with some presenting greater demands than
before. With these anticipated changes, this paper argues that the armed forces need
to address a dialogue within their communities about their roles responding to new
challenges, to include authorizations and legal protections, funds, equipment required, and changes in their organizational structure, military education, training,
concepts and doctrine; in order to play an effective role in governmental response.